micro-concerto for hybrid drum kit
c. 5 minutes
Workshop performance: June 2015
Lasso of Love was composed in May 2015 for a workshop performance by Norwegian percussionist Håkon Stene. It is the third piece from 'Of Love and Other Musings', an on-going cycle of amplified concertos.
micro concerto for electric cello
c. 6 minutes
Premiere performance: 11 June 2015
Cardiff University Concert Hall
Samuel Warner (electric cello), Martin Humphries (electronics)
For this commission I was given two pieces of information: the final gesture of the work, and the title Secateurs of Love. Usually when composing I begin with a stimulus from a different art form which leads me towards a title, however, in this instance I needed to work in reverse and derive stimulus from it.
I divided the word ‘secateurs’ into two parts which formed differing musical sections within the work: ‘sec’ (or secco, meaning dry) and ‘eur’ (which easily transformed into feurig meaning fiery). With a little research I found that the unused central letters (ATF) are commonly used in medical research as an abbreviation of the Anatomical Transfer Function – loosely speaking the way the ear responds to sound in different spaces.
Secateurs of Love is the second piece from ‘Of Love and Other Musings’, an on-going cycle of amplified concertos.
concerto for amplified French horn and sound technician
c. 14 minutes
Premiere: 1 May 2012
Cardiff University Chamber Concert Series 2011/12
Performed by the Cardiff University Contemporary Music Group
Horn: Jonathan Farey, Electronics Emyr Honeybun
I - The Chasm
II - Fixation and Waltz
III - Destroyer of Men
Bucket of Love is ultimately a piece about the human condition. In much the same way Dante must overcome the nine circles of hell, here our horn soloist must endure the three distinct punishments of The Bucket. We begin with the horn player thrusting the mute into their horn, thus penetrating into the foreign, desolate soundworld of The Chasm. The music here conveys the baron wasteland that is The Bucket, with its wide-open spaces left in ruin by the countless wanderers who have met their doom within it.
Next we are shown the playful, teasing nature of The Bucket as it lures the unsuspecting, horn-playing prey towards its trap. It flirts with the soloist, forcing their melody to become a distorted Waltz from which the only escape is to look straight into the heart the predator. The Bucket's four-note motif becomes engraved on the mind and melodies of our horn-playing hero and try as they might, they cannot shake off the Fixation which has taken hold.
With all sense of reason and logic eradicated by the grotesque will of this Destroyer of Men, our protagonist is left to suffer the same fate of all who dare to enter the spiteful realm of The Bucket of Love.